Georgia Impresses at Prometheus but Turkey Wins Gold

The official closing of the 16th international Film Festival took place on the 5th of December, with Dito Tsintsadze’s film “God of Happiness”. The screening at Amirani Cinema was preceded by the award-giving ceremony.

The scenario went on as it is does at famous international festivals abroad – and here, I’m not in any way intending to diminish the importance of our festival. Just the contrary; of the films that I watched within the framework of Prometheus, the Georgian panorama was the most interesting.

First of all, the winners on Pitching Forum were revealed – the initial projects that need to be promoted to achieve final accomplishment. The winner was named as Giorgi Basilashvili with the project ‘Gaumarjos,’ who will visit the Berlinale Festival in Germany. 5000 Gel was also given to Levan Koghuashvili for his new project. The Prometheus for the Best Documentary was given to ‘When the Earth Seems to be Light,’ by Salome Machaidze, Tamuna Karumidze and Davit Meskhi, a film already victorious at the Amsterdam Film Festival and set to continue its travels. In the national contest, the international jury conferred the Prometheus for the Best Feature film to Zaza Khalvashi for ‘Solomon,’ who, after a long break, returns to art triumphantly. The Best Georgian Short Film was taken by Tornike Bziava’s ‘Wake Man.’

At the end of the show came the much awaited silver Prometheus, going to ‘Mediterranea’ (Italy/France/USA/Germany/Qatar) by Jonas Carpignano, a story of smuggling involving Aiyva from Burkina Faso, who goes to Italy with his friend.

Then the main prize – the golden Prometheus – which was awarded to ‘Motherland’ by Turkish female director, Senem Tuzen.

The main character, Nesrin, is an urban, upper-middle class woman recovering from a divorce. She’s quit her office job, abandoned her house in Istanbul, and come to the village house of her deceased grandmother to finish a novel and live out her childhood dream of being a writer. When her conservative and increasingly unhinged mother turns up uninvited and refuses to leave, Nesrin’s writing stalls and her fantasies of village life turn bitter as the two are forced to confront the darker corners of each other’s inner worlds.

‘Motherland’ is set in Turkey, where millions of people like Nesrin have grown up in modern cities after their parents migrated from traditional villages.

The honorary Prometheus for Contribution to World Cinema went to two female directors – as this time, the festival was dedicated to women –Georgian, Lana Ghoghoberidze, and Armenian, Harutyiun Khachatrian.

The ‘Lesson’ by Kristina Grozeva (Bulgaria/Greece) was the film that most liked by the audience, describing a teacher who is searching for a thief child to teach him a lesson and who is about to become a thief herself… “

The closing film “God of Happiness” by Georgia’s eminent director Dito Tsintsadze, himself a pupil of our great directors and living legends of Georgian cinema, Eldar Shengelaia and Otar Ioseliani left no-one indifferent. Tsintadze moved to Berlin in the late nineties , where he currently lives. He has directed a number of full-length films, amongst which are: Zghvardze (On the Border), 1993, which won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Festival and the Golden Eagle at the International Black Sea Nations Film Festival in 1993 and ‘Lost Killers,’ shown in the “Uncertain Regard” section at Cannes in 2000 and at Zabaltegi in the same year.

“I am happy that Georgians can do it so well. We did it, I am so excited that we can shoot such great films again,” Nata Gagnidze, a spectator overwhelmed with emotion told Georgia Today.

The new film by our emigrant great aged director Otar Ioseliani ‘Winter Tale’ was also screened, with traditional effective close-ups and a different voice – different forms of violence according to different epochs.

It can be said that Georgian film showed itself very honorably in all directions this year and the international program was as colorful as ever. Till the next Prometheus!

Maka Lomadze

10 December 2015 20:19